Thursday, July 2, 2015

Smuttynose Rhye IPA

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1386) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 2, 2015
Rye, when used in combination of the right hops, can be a nice additive to an IPA. It imparts spicy, bready flavor not even found in the Noble hops. So few breweries seem to get the combination of rye, malts and hops done well, but once in a while they do. Case in point: Smuttynose Rhye IPA which is flavorful, well-balanced and highly drinkable.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had a best by date of 8/2/15 and cost $3.39 ($0.28 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark rusty copper hue with an extremely cloudy body. Pours to an average sized, off-white, foamy head that retains and laces pretty well.

Smell: Lemon lollipop and other citrusy scents, though rye is also present. A bit of an odd combination.

Taste: You probably wouldn’t eat grapefruit with toasted rye bread, yet those are flavors that seem to work well in beer form. Lemony hop flavor is noticeable immediately (though it seems closer to yellow lollipop – usually a sign of oxidation). Quickly followed by caramel sweetness and a hint of toffee. Through the middle comes significant bitterness, though it’s remarkably tame even at 89 IBUs. The rye stands out on the finish with a light spicy sensation and a bit of a bready flavor. I even detect a bit of coffee in this palette (it’s the aromatic malt). Overall, everything works quite well to make for a fun and interesting drink.

Drinkability: At 7.7% ABV, Smuttynose Rhye IPA is arguably a double version of the style, though it drinks like a traditional single edition. The mouthfeel is not too heavy; well carbonated so as to prevent it from being cloying, but still weighty enough so that it’s not exactly crushable. A bit of a dry lingering sensation on the tongue, but it’s tolerable. A good beer to pair with a savory dinner.

Score: 8/10